Chlorine gas leak causes evacuation of Camano Island neighborhood

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CAMANO ISLAND, Wash. - Residents of a Camano Island neighborhood were forced out of their homes after a chlorine gas leak.

Emergency crews were called to a home in the 1900 block of Bartl Drive about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Firefighters said a man who bought several metal cylinders for scrap metal started cutting them up, not knowing there was chlorine inside one of the tanks.

When he cut into the tank, it began hissing and chlorine gas inside started spewing out.

About 25 homes had to be evacuated and a temporary shelter was set up for residents who did not have another place to stay.

The Department of Ecology contained the leak and the Environmental Protection Agency monitored the air all night.

The man who cut open the cylinder and his wife were taken to the hospital, along with about six other people. The gas was burning their eyes and skin and making it hard for them to breathe.

First responders were among those treated and released from a local hospital.

Most of the evacuated residents have been allowed back into their homes.